Friday, October 31, 2014


I love Halloween.  It's always been one of my favourite holidays.
Of course, when I was a child, I loved the door-to-door part and collecting candies.
But I especially loved collecting pennies for UNICEF.  Remember UNICEF?
When I lived on my own (in the days before my little chickadee came along), I used to convince my friends to dress up and come with me to go door-knocking.
That didn't always go over very well -- a group of early-twenty-year-olds going around the neighbourhood having fun.  How dare they!?
So then I would "borrow" a child so that I could enjoy the door-knocking part of Halloween.  Or I would tag along with a friend or sibling who had a child.
I just love witnessing the excitement the children exhibit as they see the goodies fill their bags.  It's not unlike the joy of sharing Christmas morning with a child -- another favourite experience of mine.
Of course, once my little chickadee came along, I had licence to go trick or treating again.
Every year, I would dress up to take my little chickadee door knocking.  I always made costumes for both of us; I don't think I ever bought a costume.  Eventually, we went out as mother and daughter witches -- we were very impressive, even if I do say so myself!
It was really fun to see the reaction at the doors as my daughter and I arrived and people would see me all dressed up too.  They always wanted to give me candy!  My little chickadee often got double treats because "her Mom had taken the time to dress up and she deserved some candy too."
Then my little chickadee got too old for me to take her out and I had to borrow my "other daughter" to go trick or treating.  Luckily, my girlfriend had a daughter the right age and we are "other mothers" to each other's children so I just took her daughter out (which got my girlfriend off the hook for that duty).  I dressed up too because of course, that's the whole point of Halloween.  I would arrive at my girlfriend's home already in costume and get the poor child all worked up and excited and make her mother crazy!
Have I mentioned that I love Halloween?
In 1989, my boss at the time knew that I always got dressed up and went door-knocking for Halloween.  How could he not know? If the holiday fell on a weekday, I had to leave early because, well .... He suggested that I should go "door knocking" throughout the building just to see if anyone figured out that it was me.
So I did.

My boss took this photo of me just before I left to collect goodies (the phones never stop in a busy MP's office).  It was fabulous fun going door-to-door -- just like when I was a kid.   But I was all grown up and I was at work and at each office everyone was trying to figure out who I was.  Not even my own sister, who also worked in the building at the time, knew that it was me behind the get-up!  Of course, MPs' offices are not normally canvassed at Halloween time so I collected some very interesting goodies:  staplers; pencils; pens; erasers.  It was, after all, an office building! 
When I finished trick-or-treating, I went down to the in-house Day Care Centre that just happened to be in the basement of my building.  I had pre-arranged with the staff that I would arrive at Circle Time, in costume (they knew what the costume was), to distribute pre-approved treats to the children (boxed raisins that I had bought).  None of the children appeared frightened; they had all been prepared for a Halloween surprise and when "Good Witch Grizelda" arrived, they were pumped! One little guy was jumping out of his skin wanting to help me distribute the treats!
A tradition was established and Good Witch Grizelda became a bit of a legend around the place.
Each year, I dressed up and went trick or treating throughout the building (by now, co-workers were catching on that it was me behind that outfit).  Some offices actually started having candy for me.  The children at the Day Care looked forward to their visit from Good Witch Grizelda as the older children briefed the younger ones.  And the Day Care staff never did find out who I was.
As I said, I loooooooove Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Another day, another medical appointment

It seems our lives are governed by medical appointments lately.
One or the other of us seems to have something going on every day of the week.
For instance, this week has mapped out like this:
  • Monday:  John to his doctor; both of us to flu clinic; me to physio
  • Tuesday:  John to x-ray at local hospital
  • Wednesday:  John to MRI at Ottawa hospital
  • Thursday:  My Aaaaaaaahday (this is a joy, and at home, so does it count?)
  • Friday:  Both of us to audiologist to get our "repaired" (we hope) hearing aids
And for the next six weeks, at least, my weeks will be as follows:
  • Monday:  Almonte physio (hip rehab)
  • Tuesday:  Ottawa physio (general pain management)
  • Wednesday:  Almonte physio (hip rehab)
  • Thursday:  Aaaaaahday (I know, bonus, but medical nevertheless)
I guess I'll take Friday to do household stuff and perhaps groceries.  I do have to pace myself carefully.

Now, somewhere in there will be John's follow-up appointments to get results of his x-ray and MRI tests.  And he will be getting a call at some point for physio at the Almonte CBI as soon as they have room for him (it's a very busy place and he wants a specific therapist so he has to wait his turn).  He also has been promising for months to go back to the eye doctor so he can get new glasses in this calendar year (insurance issue).  He's running out of calendar time!

It isn't lost on me that Christmas is moving in fast.  Most years, by Remembrance Day I've pretty much finished my shopping.
This year?  Haven't even started on the gift list!  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip
Haven't even got the Christmas card in production yet.  Well, I've decided on the photo for the card.  But we have to take the photo.  That's on next week's agenda.  That's progress isn't it?
Gotta put up my Christmas village too.  That will happen some time late November/early December.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014


Wow, I'm free four weeks earlier than anticipated.
I saw the surgeon on Wednesday and just thought I'd ask him when I get my driving privileges back.
"You can drive any time now," he said.  "Assuming you have a valid drivers' licence."  (Ever the comedian that he is.)
Music to my ears.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
My physiotherapist had been so insistent that it would be eight weeks for the right hip.
Here is was four weeks out and he's giving me permission to drive.
Woo hoo!
He also gave me permission to progress from the walker to the cane, which of course I knew he would do.  What I wasn't expecting was for him to tell me to abandon the cane too, if I wanted.  As long as my balance is OK.  Which it is.
I don't really use any aid around the house but I'll humour my physiotherapist and continue using the cane until she gives the OK on that one.  I can still see the wisdom of having the cane handy during the night if I have to get up because I am quite stiff after not moving for a while.  Same is true after sitting for any length of time.  Those initial steps are quite stiff and wobbly but once I get going I'm fine.  And of course, the cane will be with me whenever I leave the house because if I'm going to be walking any distance, I will need it to help with the fatigue factor.
But the important thing is I CAN DRIVE.
No more being chauffeured around!
And I can resume my weekly physio sessions in Ottawa (which have been booked to the end of the year).
I've got my life back on track, a mere four weeks post surgery.
Oh, and I can do stairs like a big girl too (one step at a time, rather than both feet on each step).  That's huge!  Couldn't do that for months after the left hip was replaced.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm gonna graduate

Saw my physiotherapist yesterday.
She is tres pleased with my progress.
Wants to move me from the walker to the cane but she needs the surgeon's OK to do that.  (Since I see him tomorrow, I'm taking him a note from her asking for his approval.  He will give it and next Monday when I see her, she will "instruct" me on that transition.)
Woo hoo.  Freedom.  Sort of.
She is still not happy about my knee, although it too is mending.  Her note to the surgeon is asking him to take a look at it.
Her note is also asking him to assess what she thinks is a haematoma on my inner thigh.  The growth is significantly smaller now than it was, but it is still quite prominent and she is concerned that it hasn't completely dissipated by now.
But, all in all, she is impressed that I am doing as well as I am.
Even some of the exercises I have to do, I can do with relative ease now. 
Such a change in five days!
She tells me that driving is allowed eight weeks post-op for a right hip (it's six weeks for the left hip).  So I'm half way there.
Can't come soon enough for me I tell ya.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

24 Days Post-op

Here I am, 24 days post-op and I am sooooooooooooooo frustrated.
I really really really dislike being dependent on someone else, most especially for my transportation.
Unfortunately, until I get the green light from my surgeon (or the physiotherapist) I cannot drive myself to get groceries.
And that drives me crazy.
I can handle the drives to and from medical appointments.  If I must.
But I really prefer to do the groceries my ownself.
Always have.
And here I am, only three weeks into the dependent role and I've had enough of it.
My recovery is coming along remarkably well, although we've hit a snag because my right knee took a beating during the surgery.  And it is not healing well.  Until it recovers, it is difficult to do most of the exercises I need to do for the hip.
Yesterday, my physiotherapist did ultrasound on my knee to help it along. That gave me some relief, for a while.
This morning, it's right back inflamed and not wanting any pressure being put to bear.
My hip, on the other hand, is perfectly happy with as much pressure as I want to put on it.  It is very stable and if it weren't for the weakness of the knee, I'd be much further along than I am.
All things come to he who waits.
I'm not known for my patience.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

My recovery is going very well

I cannot believe how well this recovery is going compared to the left hip experience.
At this point with the left hip, I was still very much dependent on the walker for ambulation.
Not this time.
Although the physiotherapist insists that I must use the walker until she tells me I don't need it any longer, I don't actually need the walker around the house at all.   This house is small enough that there are many objects to grab for balance, should I need to do so.  But truth be known, my balance and stability are remarkable.
I will follow my physiotherapist's advice because I know that she knows of what she speaks.  And I don't want to do damage.
We went to Walmart the other day, and John made me agree to use the ride-cart (or I had to agree to sit in the truck while he went in a got what we needed).  John's point was he didn't want me doing that much walking and I have to agree that it would have fatigued me.  So for the first time in my life, I rode in one of those carts and it was downright scary until I got the hang of it.
Fatigue continues to be an issue if I walk too much.
Yesterday, we went to the grocery store and I insisted on walking.  We didn't need much.  Well, by the time we got to the cash, I had walked plenty enough thank you very much!  I was some glad to get home and put ice on my hip.
The exercises I have to do cause me a bit of difficulty because it seems they buggered up my knee during the surgery.  I know, I know, my knee was already bad before the surgery.  But it wasn't this bad.  The physiotherapist says she has to address the knee issue before she can tackle the hip rehab.  So she has me taped up and I have to take my brace to her so she can assess whether I should be using it to help with the hip.  
When they replaced my left hip, they "broke" my SI joint -- a problem that persists to this day.  Now, they replaced my right hip and they "broke" my knee.  Such are the consequences of joint replacement!
In any event, my recovery is going very well and for that I am extremely grateful.